PORT FOURCHON, La. -- Up to 1,200 trucks a day roar into Port Fourchon with supplies for oil platforms. Hundreds of ships rush them to 90 percent of the deepwater platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
Executive Director Chett Chiasson has seen the growth since he went to work there as a teenager.
"17 years old, I actually started working here for the Port Commission," said Chiasson. "It was very small. It was less than half the size of what it is today."
They're building a huge new dock called Slip C. It won't be finished until the end of the year, but there's no space left to rent.
"Every speck of sand that we pumped in there last year is now being leased or has a right of first refusal on it," said Chiasson. "So with that, we have Slip D on the books right now."
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., brought U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to see Port Fourchon 's importance for himself.
"But you've got to get here, so there are things like the highway infrastructure to get here," said Moniz said.
"Billions of dollars of wealth are created here for everyone in the country, and if we had just a portion of that coming back to help us build this port, keep it safe, restore this coast, we could continue to do it for decades to come," Landrieu said.
Port Fourchon is a $10 billion operation, and that inspires a lot of competition . Other ports along the Gulf of Mexico would love to have as much of this business as they can get.
So port officials here are workiing to make sure they keep the title of America's energy port.
"We'll continue to be that service base into the future, and we're looking into other things that I really can't tell you right now," said Chiasson.